Ideological fanatics, my translation.

I will be translating an article from an old Polish philosophy journal. I might aswell do something more productive for myself and others here than squabbling with rejects and lunatics.

  1. Fanaticism of an idea means that one is possessed by such idea. The possession itself has two sides, or even better, two, inseparable polarities. Former of the polarities is the positive objective; the objective of being tied to an idea. The latter objective is the negative polarity, the negative objective; the objective of hostility towards those who do not share ones affinity to the idea. […]
    What is this idea then, this fanatics idea which he has such affinity and loyalty for? Its components are two-fold. The first is a primal awareness of some great ‘good’, which the fanatics desires to implement into reality, or which he desires to be implemented into reality. The said awareness constitutes the axiological core of his possessive idea. (The example which can be given here are things such as “social justice” or “human happiness”, “greatness of a nation”, “kingdom of Heaven” etc.) This good – this ‘value’ – is always only implied, pointed-out vaguely and is actually masked rather than described. Its vagueness makes it resistant to criticism and its praise, in turn, becomes an axiological celebratory platitude which, in itself, does not explain the intensity of the fanatics affiliation to it(to the good).
    The explanation of the said intensity of a fanatic is found in his awareness of a mission; a strong conviction – this actual ‘belief’ – that he himself knows the shortest and most reliable way to realisation of the said great good. Furthermore, knowing this way, the fanatic is called upon by this great good – meaning simultaneously authorised and held accountable – to point the said way to others. The measure of the power of this belief is its deafness towards any contra-argumentation. The fanatic himself does not listen to those, and if listening, he does not register them. He excludes completely any possibility that the forwarding of any contra-argumentation might, indeed, be done in good faith towards himself.

Reserved.

Fanatics are often bipolar.

Make sure you leave room for distinguishing between a fanatic & someone who actually just believes their position and is responding reasonably in the way they live.

Watch for signs they invite and respond well to questions and constructive criticism.

Know what it means to respond well…

For example: One dead giveaway that nobody actually believed Covid was as bad as it was hyped (or triaged) to be was how the story tellers behaved off-camera. Another dead giveaway was the silencing of opposing views with catch phrases rather than evidence-based responses.

This ngl